September 19, 2001

Dear Sangha,

HERE IS A SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: Thrangu Rinpoche has been donated land in Crestone, CO where Rinpoche is going to build a retreat center, his first in the US.

After teaching the Idyllwild program in July of this year, Thrangu Rinpoche went to Crestone. Crestone is a small town in Southern Colorado where a number of contemplatave communities reside. There Rinpoche visited the stupa of His Holiness Karmapa.  He performed a lasang for the stupa against the backdrop of the extraordinary Sangri De Christo Mountains. The Stupa was built by local students under the guidance of Khenpo Kartar and Bardo Tulku at the request of His Holiness the 16th Karmapa. Thrangu Rinpoche gave a teaching that night at the Tibetan Project House and the next morning he visited a 21-acre piece of land below the stupa, which was offered to him for the building of a retreat center. Rinpoche liked the land and while he was still at the beginning edge of the land he said that an auspicious site for the retreat center lay further up. He pointed to a place on the map and two of his monks, with other students, walked further up the mountain with video camera in hand and they found the actual meadow that Rinpoche had pointed to on the map.

Thrangu Rinpoche requested two of his students, Clark and Pat Johnson, to oversee the project, to secure the land and to begin the fund raising campaign that will allow the fruition of a retreat center to be built in Crestone, Colorado. They were able to obtain preliminary approval for the land and met with Rinpoche in Maine at the Vajra Vidya Retreat program and details of how to proceed were discussed.

Thrangu Rinpoche gave the retreat center its name. It will be called the Vajra Vidya Retreat Center adding to the chain of Rinpoche's Buddha activities. Rinpoche envisioned there first being shorter retreats and as the sangha became ready there would be long retreats. He initially thought that there should be five spaces for men and five for women. To support the retreat center Rinpoche will be sending to nuns and one Khenpo to support the retreatants. This Khenpo will also be available to other centers that want instruction in the practices and the Khenpo will be available for teachings.

This project comes at a time when Rinpoche's teachings are flourishing and spreading. This blessing is increasing the aspiration to practice and realize the profound meaning of Thrangu Rinpoche's teaching.

Two sets of plans were acquired one based on the Gampo Abbey retreat center and the other on the Karma Ling retreat center. These, as well
as a third option of a prefab construction, will be analyzed for the cost of construction as well as the appropriateness to the topography of the land.

An account for the Retreat Center has been set up under Thrangu Rinpoche's Non-profit organization the Namo Buddha Seminar established
in 1989. The fund-raising campaign has begun and the first contribution was from Rinpoche himself, as he has always wanted to have a place to recommend to his students.

Anyone interested in any phase of this project is encouraged to contact Clark Johnson. There will be many needs from the actual donations to every phase of construction. One important area will be fund raising, grant writing and personal contacts. Any and all help will bring this Retreat Center into being another of Thrangu Rinpoche's beacons of the Buddha Dharma.

AN ANNOUNCEMENT FROM CHONYI-LA (Rinpoche's monk traveling with him)

Thrangu Rinpoche will be giving teachings on the Seven Points of Mind Training to his monks and nuns from October 25 to November 8th at the Namo Buddha Retreat Center in Nepal. This is actually the first time that he has given a two week seminar in Tibetan only to his own monks and nuns in a practice situation similar to what Westerners do in their Namo Buddha Seminars.

Then from December 23 to December 30th Thrangu Rinpoche will be attending the Kagyu Monlam which is a meeting of all the Kagyu centers and he will be giving away two books all in Tibetan recently published by his monastery. One is Jamgon Kongtrul's commentary on the Seven Points and the other is Thrangu Rinpoche's commentary on this same subject.

THE KARMAPA  will visit Vajra Vidya, Thrangu Rinpoche's Monastery in Sarnath this time between January 1 to January 9 and January 11th to 13th in the year 2002.

THANKS TO Myron Berney, our web watcher, there are two web sites of interest. First is a half hour video from BBC of the Karmapa called "The Boy King" by BBC which replays Karmapa's flight from Tibet last year which can be gotten from the site:

The second is a set of over 20 pictures of Thrangu Rinpoche found on the web site:

Clark Johnson
Namo Buddha Publications
1390 Kalmia Avenue
Boulder, CO 80304-1813
Phone (303) 449-6608
Fax (303) 440-0882

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